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Officers Ready for Insurance coverage Adjusters at Website of Chemical Plant Explosion

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Worker’s Body Recovered at Site of Explosion at Massachusetts Plant With Fire History

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Officers from pharmaceutical producer Seqens and the town of Newburyport, Massachusetts are ready on insurance coverage adjusters to indicate earlier than starting demolition and cleanup on the facility the place a employee was killed in an explosion final week.

The town has given Seqens, also referred to as PCI Synthesis, a deadline of 8 a.m. on Wednesday to start out demolition of the constructing addition the place the explosion occurred.

A spokesperson for Seqens advised Insurance coverage Journal he had no official replace as of midday on Tuesday concerning the arrival of adjusters and begin of demolition.

In response to Newburyport Fireplace Chief Stephen H. Bradbury III, hazardous supplies technicians and crews remained on the scene within the metropolis’s enterprise park on Monday, eradicating the ultimate eight 55-gallon drums of chemical compounds, and draining roughly 2,000 gallons of chemical compounds from chemical reactors on the plant.

Bradbury additionally mentioned a contractor was introduced in to shore up the metal helps to interchange a crane that has been holding up the constructing since final Friday.

At about 12:45 a.m. final Thursday, 911 operators acquired a report of an explosion at 9 Alternative Method. Fireplace crews battled heavy fireplace circumstances for roughly one hour. 5 staff have been within the constructing on the time, and 4 evacuated safely. The physique of the lacking employee, recognized as 62-year-old Jack O’Keefe, was discovered on Thursday afternoon. The opposite 4 staff have been handled at an area hospital and launched.

Officers mentioned that whereas the explosion seems associated to a chemical manufacturing course of and doesn’t seem suspicious, the precise trigger stays below investigation by the Newburyport Fireplace Division, State Police, and the Essex County District Legal professional’s workplace.

The federal Occupational Security and Well being Administration (OSHA) and Environmental Safety Company (EPA) have bee on the web site as properly.

The tragedy has raised questions on the way forward for the plant that has a historical past of well being, security and environmental issues. This explosion was the third on the plant since 2020. It moved to the Newburyport plant in 2005 from a facility in Leominster, the place there had been two explosions.

Newburyport Mayor Sean Reardon advised the Newburyport Each day Information he desires the plant closed till a full investigation is accomplished. He questioned whether or not it must be allowed to reopen.

Others questioned why the plant has been allowed to maintain working given its historical past.

“Why are we permitting firms to proceed to function understanding that there’s a laundry checklist of those sorts of considerations already delivered to their consideration?” Al Vega, chief of technique for the Massachusetts Coalition For Occupational Security And Well being (MassCOSH), requested on WBUR radio. MassCOSH is a coalition that represents staff.

Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren and Consultant Seth Moulton wrote to Seqens North America, the ability’s proprietor, searching for an evidence “as to why this newest incident occurred and the way, after years of fines and regulatory enforcement actions, Seqens might have allowed unsafe circumstances to persist.”

The corporate vowed to cooperate with all investigations.

“We try to observe finest practices and regulatory tips and have carried out security protocols and procedures to forestall incidents like this from occurring,” the corporate mentioned in a press release, including that it’s “totally dedicated to working carefully with the authorities and related companies to find out the reason for the incident.

Photograph: Crews on-scene at hazardous supplies explosion in Newburyport, Mass. on Might 4,2023. (Photograph Courtesy Newburyport Fireplace)

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